Ga Dept of Agriculture


Georgia Grown Honey

Honey Bees are the only insects that produce a food consumed by humans.  Honey is produced in one of the busiest yet most efficient factories in the world - a beehive.

Honey is a rich source of carbohydrates - mainly fructose (about 38.5 %) and glucose (about 31.0%).  The remaining carbohydrates include maltose, sucrose, and other complex carbohydrates.   On average, honey is 17.1% water.

In addition, honey contains a wide array of vitamins, such as vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid.  Essential minerals including calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc as well as several different amino acids have been identified in honey.

Honey also contains several compounds which function as antioxidants - compounds that help delay the oxidative damage to cells or tissues in our bodies.  Known antioxidant compounds in honey are chrysin, pinobanksin, vitamin C, catalase and pinocembrin.

Honey Varieties in Georgia

Honey bees collect nectar from flowers and convert it to honey - nature´s most delicious sweetener.  Not all honey is alike.  Color and flavor vary according to the floral source of the nectar.

Honey lovers in Georgia are lucky.  Although several states produce more honey, few can match Georgia for variety and quality!  For unmatched freshness and value buy home-grown GEORGIA HONEY!

Here are some of Georgia´s premium honey plants:

Sourwood: This is the major honey plant of the southern Appalachians.  In Georgia, sourwood trees grow at higher elevations in the northeast, but some grow in isolated pockets in the piedmont.  The honey is thick and water-white to medium amber, and the flavor is mild.

Tulip Poplar:  Growing from the mountains to the coast, tulip poplar trees are the most common honey plant in Georgia.  The honey is dark with a beautiful reddish color, and the flavor ranges from moderately mild to strong.

Gallberry:  This is the major honey plant of the southeastern U.S.  The shrub grows in the sandy soils of Georgia´s south coastal plain.  Its honey is light colored with a moderately mild flavor.

Buyers Guide to Honey

  • Select mildly flavored honeys for use in cooking where delicate flavors predominate.
  • Use strongly flavored honeys in spreads or other recipes where a distinct honey flavor is desired.
  • Store honey at room temperature.
  • If honey crystallizes, remove lid and place jar in warm water until crystals dissolve.  Or, microwave 1 cup of honey in microwave-safe container at HIGH (100%) 2 to 3 minutes or until crystals dissolve.  Stir every 30 seconds.  Do not boil or scorch.

Cooking Tips

  • For best results, use recipes developed for using honey.
  • When you substitute honey for granulated sugar in recipes:
    • Substitute honey for up to one-half of the sugar.  With experimentation, honey can be substituted for all the sugar in some recipes.
    • Reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup for each cup of honey used in baked goods.
    • Add about 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for each cup of honey used in baked goods.
    • Reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees F to prevent over-browning of baked goods.
  • For easy removal, spray measuring cup with vegetable cooking spray before adding honey.
  • Honey adds a sweet, smooth and distinctive taste to recipes.  Honey also absorbs and retains moisture.  These qualities retard drying out and staling of baked goods.
  • Because of its high fructose content, honey has a higher sweetening power than sugar.

Honey and Exercise

Don´t forget when planning your training that honey, a rich source of carbohydrates, provides energy, rich sweet flavor, and is a natural source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in small amounts.  And all at just 64 calories and 17 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon.

Combining honey with other healthful foods can add to your total nutrition and give you an energy boost.  Try these tips to fuel your diet with the sweet goodness of honey:

  • Looking for a substitute for energy gels?  Try packets of honey or honey sticks.
  • One of the most important things to remember when you´re on the go is to stay hydrated.  A squeeze of honey in your bottle is an easy substitute for sports drinks.
  • Whether you are active or not, it´s important to start the day with a healthy breakfast.  Honey can be spread on a bagel or toast, drizzled over hot cereal or fruit or added to a fruit smoothie.
  • Snack time is a great time to add an extra serving of fruit and vegetables to your diet.  Try mixing together peanut butter and honey or honey and light cream cheese for a dip for fresh fruits or vegetables.